Technology Services 2 extends public procurement to SMEs

Between May 2018 and 2019, the UK government intends to launch five major frameworks to…...

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Between May 2018 and 2019, the UK government intends to launch five major frameworks to aid and streamline public procurement. The programmers designing these systems can learn a lot from the developments in the Technology Services 2 framework which have significantly improved the process for the public sector and vendors.

Government’s promise

The government has consistently stated that it is committed to helping small and medium organisations, and has promised that nearly 33% of the public procurement spend will go to SMEs by 2022. This can happen directly or within the supply chain. While this target could be slightly difficult to accomplish, the government is pushing ahead and making progress with multiple public procurement frameworks.

These frameworks have been undergoing changes based on feedback from various government departments and vendors. In particular, the innovations to the Technology Services 2 framework have been hailed as a success and it is anticipated that these significant changes will transform public procurement for the better.

Moreover, the developments of Technology Services 2 can be applied to other frameworks, creating more opportunities for SMEs to bid for contracts while being more relevant to the buyers’ needs.

What is Technology Services 2 framework?

The Technology Services 2 framework allows the public sector access to specialist technology services, from managing and maintaining desktops to replacing and upgrading systems. While the framework is paired with G-Cloud, it can also be used on its own, without connection to the cloud.

When the framework was launched, the CCS estimated that it could help public agencies and bodies to save more than £180m over a period of four years.

One of the most attractive features of Technology Services 2 is that duration of call-off contracts can range from two years to seven years, without requiring further OJEU process. This is essential for larger projects and any other assignment where there is a need for bespoke development.

Technology Services 2 is also more flexible compared to previous frameworks and only has four Lots, divided into Operations, Transformation, Strategy and Design, and Major Projects. This is to ensure that smaller suppliers and vendors are able to bid for a contract if they have the necessary expertise and qualifications.

Furthermore, the framework has also changed the qualification process. If a supplier’s expertise exceeds the specified requirements, they are now considered for a project. As a result, smaller suppliers and vendors can compete alongside larger IT contractors on a level playing field.

Final words

Technology Services 2 may not be perfect, but the features are a step in the right direction to streamlining public procurement. It has proved to be an effective medium for public bodies to find the right IT suppliers.

Nick Ford

Nick has over 30 years procurement experience in consulting, outsourcing and line roles within industry with international experience across many sectors and industries and led many procurement programs with blue chip organisations.

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